President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday introduced a list of veteran diplomats and political decision-makers who will make up his national security and foreign policy team, saying, “America is back, ready to lead the world.”
Biden, 78, at an event in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, presented his choices to Secretary of State, National Security Adviser, Home Secretary, Secretary of Intelligence, UN Ambassador and Envoy for Climate Change.
“These civil servants will restore America’s global leadership and moral leadership,” Biden said as the six men and women stood behind him with face masks on the stage of the Queen’s Theater.
Biden said that after he was inaugurated on January 20, 2021 and Donald Trump leaves the White House, the United States will “once again sit at the head of the table, ready to confront our opponents and not reject our allies.”
“It’s a team that reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it,” the former vice president said in a jab at President Trump’s go-it-alone “America First” policy.
Biden’s comments came shortly after Trump suffered further setbacks in his unsurpassed attempt to reverse the outcome of a US presidential election with unjustified allegations of fraud.
Pennsylvania and Nevada certified the election results on November 3, Tuesday, a day after the state of Michigan did, a move that triggered the General Services Administration (GSA) to start the transition process.
When more members of his Republican party came out demanding the end of the dead end, Trump signed the GSA movement and effectively acknowledged defeat but still refused to admit it.
“The GSA does not decide who the next president of the United States will be,” the president tweeted on Tuesday along with a picture of himself in the Oval Office with the text: “I acknowledge NOTHING !!!!!”
The 74-year-old Trump, who has made some public appearances since his defeat, later attended a traditional Thanksgiving turkey forgiveness at the White House.
He seemed at least indirectly addressing the election at one point and said, “I say America First, should not walk away from it, America First.”
‘Diplomacy is back’
The GSA’s decision that Biden is the clear winner gives him access to classified information on national security threats and will allow his assistants to coordinate with health agents to address the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
Biden, in an interview with NBC Nightly News, said that intelligence information was expected to begin soon and cooperation was being developed in other areas.
“We have received outreach activities from the National Security Store,” he said. “We are already training the Covid team in the White House.
“The search has been sincere,” Biden said. “There has been no dissatisfaction so far. And I do not expect that to happen.”
Biden revealed his cabinet election, saying world leaders had told him they “look forward to the United States restoring its historic role as a global leader.”
“This team is facing this moment,” he said. “They embody my core belief that America is strongest when it works with its allies.”
The slate that Biden revealed includes veterans of the Barack Obama administration and signals a return to traditional American diplomacy and multilateralism.
Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice of foreign minister, said the United States could not solve global problems on its own.
“We have to work with other countries,” said the former Foreign Ministry official. “We need their cooperation. We need their partnership.”
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden’s choice to be the US Ambassador to the UN, reiterated these sentiments.
“America is back. Multilateralism is back. Diplomacy is back,” said Thomas-Greenfield, an experienced career diplomat.
“The challenges we face – a global pandemic, a global economy, the global climate change crisis, mass migration and extreme poverty, social justice – are relentless and interconnected, but they are not insoluble if America leads the way.”
Former Secretary of State John Kerry, whom Biden chose as his special envoy for climate change, confirmed that the new government would bring the United States back to the Paris climate deal that Trump withdrew from in 2015.
Cuban-born Alejandro Mayorkas was appointed head of the Department of Homeland Security, whose police work on tough immigration restrictions under Trump was a frequent source of controversy.
Avril Haines was nominated as head of national intelligence, the first woman to hold the post, while Jake Sullivan was appointed national security adviser.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen is expected to be named finance minister, the first woman to hold the job.
‘Delay the inevitable’
With Biden winning a comfortable victory, Trump’s last card is to try to disrupt the normally routine process of state approval of the vote and question the election results in the courts with allegations of irregularities.
Legal efforts have fallen flat, however, along with attempts to delay state certification.
“The Trump campaign’s legal efforts have no basis in fact, no basis in law,” said Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign and a former White House councilor. “Their sole purpose is to delay the inevitable.